What’s next, and how do I decide? A Q&A with our expert panel

Dustin Moskovitz

We recently welcomed over 100 Bay Area interns to our office for an exclusive Q&A Panel with Matt Cohler (of Benchmark Capital and Facebook), Aditya Agarwal (VP of Engineering at Dropbox), our co-founders, Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein. This was our second annual event, and the conversation was squarely focused on the most pressing topic for students and new grads: what’s next, and how do I decide?

Asana intern Q&A

Following dinner and networking with Asana team members, we kicked off a panel discussion that flowed from tactical topics (like evaluating post-graduation options) to more personal anecdotes (like mistakes made, and things that you won’t learn in college).

We’ve collected the highlights of the event in this post, and hope you’ll share your opinions around this topic in the comments.

On evaluating your options post-graduation

With the vast possibilities facing new grads today, deciding which company to work for can be daunting. The key takeaways from our panel included weighing post-graduation options based on people, opportunities for learning, and putting less emphasis on short-term compensation.

Here are some highlights from the panelists:

On mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, both during college and after. At Asana, we approach mistakes or missed goals as an opportunities for improving our processes. When something doesn’t work out as we planned, we start by asking “why?” And we keep asking until, by the fifth “why,” we’ve found the root of our problem. This is just one way to evaluate mistakes. The panelists emphasized that learning from whatever mistakes you might make can help you define your unique path.

What college didn’t teach you

The most important thing a new grad can focus on immediately upon graduation is their comparative advantage. Creating value for yourself and the world around you is amplified when you have an edge over everyone else –and so is your potential for making an impact. In order to capitalize on your comparative advantage, focus on what you know best — whether it’s a specific coding language, negotiating partnerships, or anything in between. By leaning on your strengths at the beginning of your career, you’ll quickly become an expert who can drive maximum value both within your organization as well as across the span your career.

Do you have sage advice for students and new grads on how to choose their first job out of college? Please share it in the comments.

You can watch the full video of the event here.

Are you a new grad? We’re hiring!

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  • Burak
    I find Asana very useful but as a lawyer, I think there is one important option is missing. We work with case basis and every case has sub-tasks. We’re adding a project for every case and adding tasks inside these projects. But in main menu, there is no number indicates how many task this project has. It will be great for us to see how many task a project has without clicking the project name. Also it will be great to making categories like criminal cases, ip cases etc.
    • Josh Torres
      We are working on features around this! Stay tuned for new updates :D
    • Rick
      I work at an IP firm and started using Asana back in June 2014 for all of my project management. The results have been incredible. I set up templates for each type of case we work on and had to manually input each of my cases (approx. 1200 pending cases), which took about a week. But once everything was entered, it was ridiculous how much time I saved. My team is still very slow in getting on board, but even with just me using Asana, we’ve been completing projects earlier and more thoroughly. I use Asana every single day and it is the single most useful tool I have at work!
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  • jwjb
    Just an all around great talk with wonderful tidbits of knowledge, insight, advice, etc sprinkled throughout and really appreciate Asana setting this up for all the attendees as well as making it available for everyone to watch and learn from such a great panel of experts.